As a kid, I saw a show on an extremely obese individual who had been in bed so long, his skin had actually melded with the fibers of the bed. He was so stuck to the bed, he needed to be removed by emergency personnel. It was on my mind as we pulled up to The Vineyards Campground last night at midnight. I wondered, as I prepared to rise from the passenger’s seat, if we’d have to call emergency personnel to unstick me. 24 hours of driving in two days…ridiculous.
Ironically, after every trip we take, we say the SAME thing. “Let’s never drive that many miles in that short of time again!”
Apparently we are slow learners.
We broke up the 24 hours of driving over two days like this:
Day 1: We left Salt Lake City and landed in Albuquerque for the night.
Day 2: We left Albuquerque and arrived at The Vineyards Campground, just outside of Dallas…here for the huge Southwest RV Supershow in downtown Dallas.
Being the good little fitness pros we are, we made sure to stop every 2 hours to see various roadside attractions AND get some exercise. Stopping frequently on long drives is not only a more healthful way of roadtripping, it’s also what keeps me from going looney from my passenger seat imprisonment. (And from potentially melding to the seat.)
As we began Day 1, we saw this:
This would be a good pic for an RVer game, “Guess the State!” There are shops everywhere in Utah selling clothes for Mormon missionaries. This tough looking blowup Mormon dude on top of a missionary store cracked us up.
Two hours later, Mission Man was replaced with Muffler Man:
Yes, I admit it. James and I are part of the nerd crowd that gets easily excited over Muffler Man sightings… those roadside fiberglass humanoids you can find all over the US. This one stands in Speed Trap, Utah. Whoops, I meant Helper, Utah. But a friendly tip…if you’re ever rolling through Helper, you’d be wise to slow down. I’m just sayin’.
And probably the highlight of our stops on Day 1 was visiting “Hole in the Rock,” just south of Moab, Utah:
Back in the 40’s, some guy spent 12 years hand carving a 5,000 square foot home with 14 rooms out of this natural cliff face. It’s now a super cool roadside stop. You can tour the home, or just walk around the quirky grounds soaking up the weirdness: Big Foot’s foot, a hillbilly lawnmower (a bike with a blade on the front), outhouses with feet sticking out, a jeep made out of license plates, and other wondrously wacky creations decorate the grounds.
And finally, we arrived in Albuquerque. Our halfway point to Dallas. I’ve got a great friend who lives there, so we crashed at her pad. We were only there about 7 hours, but the morning shower in her house compared to our tiny RV was luxurious. Thanks, Ros!
Day 2 had us along Route 66. We stopped in Tucumcari, New Mexico so James could climb this marker:
Tucumcari was a strange little New Mexico town. Lots of old Route 66 motels in ruins or burned down. Abandoned, but still there. We were pretty intrigued by it all. It must have been a vibrant town once upon a not-so-long-ago time.
But the most exciting stop of all on our two-day driving marathon was FINALLY seeing Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
Cadillac Ranch is one of the mothers of all roadside attractions in the US…easily recognizable, iconic, and glorified in all sorts of video and media. The 10 Caddies have been around since 1974, all facing west, all half-buried nose down. The smell of spray paint permeated the air the moment we stepped out of Das Bus. I didn’t have the forethought to BYOP (bring your own paint), so I didn’t get in on the action THIS TIME. James, in all his OCD splendor, was incredibly relieved about this. The idea of spray paint being transported in his RV is terrifying for him. But as his “anti-system,” it’s my duty to help him learn to overcome his highly-annoying cleanliness issues. So, next time, spray paint, it is.
So now here we are, safely planted in Dallas. The RV show is underway and we’re heading off to lead our first session! I’m happy to be out of the RV passenger seat, at least for the next 4 days. But you know what? By the time 4 days has passed, I’ll be itching to get back in it. I know I complain all the time about our long drives. But the truth is, I secretly love it.